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Rylee Dionigi

The number of older athletes is growing with the aging of populations across the developed world. This article reviews studies from a variety of disciplines that focus specifically on the motives and experiences of older adults competing in physically demanding sports at events such as masters and veterans competitions in Australia or the Senior Olympics in North America. It is shown that the majority of research into this phenomenon has taken a quantitative approach or failed to consider older athletes’ experiences in the context of broader sociocultural discourses. Therefore, using the author’s research into the experiences of older Australian masters athletes as a catalyst, the need for and strength of sociological qualitative research in this area is discussed. The use of qualitative methods, such as in-depth interviews and observations, and interpretive analysis provided alternative ways of making sense of older adults and their relationship with competitive sport to what is typically found in the sport and aging literature.

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Stephen D. Mellalieu, Sheldon Hanton and Graham Jones

The purpose of this study was to extend the work of Jones and Hanton (2001) by examining differences in affective states of performers who reported facilitating or debilitating interpretations of symptoms associated with precompetitive anxiety. Competitive athletes (N = 229) completed state and trait versions of the CSAI-2 (Martens, Burton, Vealey, Bump, & Smith, 1990), including intensity and direction subscales (Jones & Swain, 1992) and an exploratory measure of precompetitive affective responses in preparation and competition. “Facilitators” reported significantly greater positive labeling of affective experiences than “debilitators,” while cognitive interpretations of symptoms were reported to change with regard to preparation for and actual performance. The findings further support the need to examine the labeling and measurement of precompetitive affective states.

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Lena Fung

The motives for participating in competitive sports among male and female elite disabled athletes from different countries have not been studied. Similarities and differences were therefore examined in the rating of importance of the seven motive factors of fitness, team atmosphere, skill development, excitement and challenge, friendship, achievement and status, and energy release. The countries studied included the U.S., Great Britain, and Japan. Data were collected during the Seoul Paralympics from 15 male and 15 female track athletes ages 20–30 from each country. All subjects competed in wheelchairs and met the eligibility criteria of the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation. The instrument used was a questionnaire designed by Gould, Feltz, and Weiss (1985) to examine motives for participating in competition. There were significant differences among athletes from the three countries in the motive factors of fitness, team atmosphere, and excitement and challenge. Gender differences were found in the motive factors of friendship as well as achievement and status.

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Ronald J. Maughan, Phillip Watson, Gethin H. Evans, Nicholas Broad and Susan M. Shirreffs

Fluid balance and sweat electrolyte losses were measured in the players and substitutes engaged in an English Premier League Reserve competitive football match played at an ambient temperature of 6–8 °C (relative humidity 50–60%). Intake of water and/or sports drink and urine output were recorded, and sweat composition was estimated from absorbent swabs applied to 4 skin sites for the duration of the game. Body mass was recorded before and after the game. Data were obtained for 22 players (age 21 y, height 180 cm, mass 78 kg) and 9 substitutes (17 y, 181 cm, 72 kg). All were male. Two of the players were dismissed during the game, and none of the substitutes played any part in the game. Mean ± SD sweat loss of players amounted to 1.68 ± 0.40 L, and mean fluid intake was 0.84 ± 0.47 L (n = 20), with no difference between teams. Corresponding values for substitutes, none of whom played in the match, were 0.40 ± 0.24 L and 0.78 ± 0.46 L (n = 9). Prematch urine osmolality was 678 ± 344 mOsm/kg: 11 of the 31 players provided samples with an osmolality of more than 900 mOsm/kg. Sweat sodium concentration was 62 ± 13 mmol/L, and total sweat sodium loss during the game was 2.4 ± 0.8 g. These descriptive data show a large individual variability in hydration status, sweat losses, and drinking behaviors in a competitive football match played in a cool environment, highlighting the need for individualized assessment of hydration status to optimize fluid-replacement strategies.

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Jordan D. Philpott, Chris Donnelly, Ian H. Walshe, Elizabeth E. MacKinley, James Dick, Stuart D.R. Galloway, Kevin D. Tipton and Oliver C. Witard

Elite soccer players may be required to complete two competitive matches per week, interspersed with intense training sessions ( Carling et al., 2015 ). Such intense scheduling, indicative of fixture congestion, places significant physiological stress on soccer players over the course of a season

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Ashley M. Duguay, Todd M. Loughead and James M. Cook

) in four competitive female youth soccer teams. In line with the two gaps discussed in our overview of the athlete-leadership literature, we forwarded two hypotheses. First, while we expected each team’s athlete-leadership network to reflect a shared process, we hypothesized that their degree of

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Martin M. Perline and G. Clayton Stoldt

The purpose of this paper was to measure the change in competitive balance for women’s basketball as a conference merges and changes its membership. Specifically, we surveyed the changes in competitive balance as the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference was merged into the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC). While competitive balance may not have been the primary reason for the merger, it tended to increase fan interest and was, therefore, considered desirable by member institutions. Three measures of competitive balance were used, producing mixed results. However, there was arguably a more competitive balance after the merger, because there tended to be more predictably perennial winners and losers in the Gateway than the MVC.

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Christopher D. Lantz, Deborah J. Rhea and Karin Mesnier

This study examined the relationships among eating attitudes, exercise identity, and body alienation in ultramarathoners. Eighty-seven competitive ultramarathoners (73 males, 14 females) completed the Eating Attitudes Test–26, Exercise Identity Scale, and Body Alienation Scale as part of their pre-race registration. Correlation coefficients revealed that eating attitudes were positively related to exercise identity (R = 0.31) and injury tolerance (R = 0.43), and that exercise identity was positively related to injury tolerance (R = 0.33). MANOVA further indicated that subjects with high exercise identity reported more eating disorder behaviors [F(2, 80) = 7.73, P < 0.001 J and higher injury tolerance [F (2, 80) = 3.69, P < 0.05] than persons with low exercise identity. Female ultramarathoners scoring high on exercise identity were more likely to report aberrant eating behaviors [F (2, 80) = 3.39, P < 0.05J and higher training intensity levels [F (2, 80) = 3.91, p < 0.02J than were average males and the low- or moderate-exercise identifying females.

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Per-Ludvik Kjendlie and Robert Keig Stallman

The aims of this study were to compare drag in swimming children and adults, quantify technique using the technique drag index (TDI), and use the Froude number (Fr) to study whether children or adults reach hull speed at maximal velocity (v max). Active and passive drag was measured by the perturbation method and a velocity decay method, respectively, including 9 children aged 11.7 ± 0.8 and 13 adults aged 21.4 ± 3.7. The children had significantly lower active (k AD) and passive drag factor (k PD) compared with the adults. TDI (k AD/k PD) could not detect any differences in swimming technique between the two groups, owing to the adults swimming maximally at a higher Fr, increasing the wave drag component, and masking the effect of better technique. The children were found not to reach hull speed at v max, and their Fr were 0.37 ± 0.01 vs. the adults 0.42 ± 0.01, indicating adults’ larger wave-making component of resistance at v max compared with children. Fr is proposed as an evaluation tool for competitive swimmers.

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Raymond C.Z. Cohen, Paul W. Cleary, Simon M. Harrison, Bruce R. Mason and David L. Pease

The purpose of this study was to determine the pitching effects of buoyancy during all competitive swimming strokes—freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, and breaststroke. Laser body scans of national-level athletes and synchronized multiangle swimming footage were used in a novel markerless motion capture process to produce three-dimensional biomechanical models of the swimming athletes. The deforming surface meshes were then used to calculate swimmer center-of-mass (CoM) positions, center-of-buoyancy (CoB) positions, pitch buoyancy torques, and sagittal plane moments of inertia (MoI) throughout each stroke cycle. In all cases the mean buoyancy torque tended to raise the legs and lower the head; however, during part of the butterfly stroke the instantaneous buoyancy torque had the opposite effect. The swimming strokes that use opposing arm and leg strokes (freestyle and backstroke) had smaller variations in CoM positions, CoB positions, and buoyancy torques. Strokes with synchronized left-right arm and leg movement (butterfly and breaststroke) had larger variations in buoyancy torques, which impacts the swimmer’s ability to maintain a horizontal body pitch for these strokes. The methodology outlined in this paper enables the rotational effects of buoyancy to be better understood by swimmers, allowing better control of streamlined horizontal body positioning during swimming to improve performance.